BBC News Online BBC World Service BBC Homepage
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport - Euro 2000
 You are in:  Euro2000: Teams: Holland
Front Page 
Czech Rep 
Fans Guide 
The BBC Team 
Photo Gallery 

Friday, 30 June, 2000, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Bergkamp quits international scene
Bergkamp in battle with Del Piero
Dennis Bergkamp's decision to retire from international football brings to an end a glittering career in the famous orange shirt of Holland.

The Arsenal striker indicated prior to Euro 2000 that it was likely to be his last major tournament on the international stage and he would surely have loved to bow out in different circumstances to the penalty shoot-out exit at the hands of Italy.

His stated reasons are that he wishes to devote more time to his family, but his fear of flying would have ruled him out of the next World Cup in Japan and South Korea anyway.

Speaking after the defeat by Italy, Bergkamp said: "This was my last game for Holland. My reasons are still the same.

Bergkamp celebrates breaking the Dutch scoring record at France 98

"It's better for me to stop now as I need more rest and to spend more time with my family, and tournaments always happen during the summer.

"Maybe if I get the feeling that I want to return then I will make it known to the coach, whoever that may be."

Whether there is a change of heart or not Bergkamp has certainly left his mark on Dutch football.

Bergkamp Factfile
79 appearances
37 goals
Debut v Italy 26.9.90
1st Goal v Greece 21.11.90

His 37 goals in 79 appearances make him Holland's leading goalscorer of all-time, but it was a record that he was unable to improve on during Euro 2000.

He broke the previous record, held by Fass Wilkes, at France 98 with his sublime finish against Argentina in the quarter-finals.


Ironically Bergkamp had made his international debut in opposition to the same nation he bowed out against.

Palermo in Italy was the scene for Bergkamp's first appearance in the orange shirt, as a 22-year-old back in September 1990.

The Dutch won that game 1-0 and two months later the young striker was celebrating his first goal for his country, against Greece.

Holland were among the favourites for the 1992 European Championships held in Sweden and Bergkamp struck on three occasions before the Dutch were eliminated on penalties by the eventual winners Denmark.

Bergkamp hit three more goals during the 1994 World Cup in America before going out 3-2 to Brazil, but it was during this tournament that his phobia of flying emerged.


A false bomb threat on the plane carrying the Dutch national side triggered panic and, reminded of a plane crash that had killed many Surinamese-Dutch players, Bergkamp decided not to fly again.

Penalty shoot-out's were to prove the downfall of Bergkamp and the Dutch at Euro 96 and France 98. The French and the Brazilians were the victors on the respective occasions.

And so it was Holland's inability from 12 yards once again which was finally to bring to an end Bergkamp's role on the international stage.

His substitution four minutes before the end of normal time meant the former Ajax and Inter Milan man was forced to watch the penalty drama from the sidelines, but nobody would have taken the defeat harder than him.

Search BBC Euro 2000


Stats for Holland

Star players


See also:

29 Jun 00 | Holland
Van Gaal favourite for Dutch job
30 Jun 00 | Holland
Wenger pays tribute to Bergkamp
^^ Back to top
Front Page | Results/Fixtures | Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Knockout | Teams | Sportstalk | Fans' Guide | AudioVideo | Photo Gallery